Poised for liftoff

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Science  08 Apr 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6282, pp. 138-139
DOI: 10.1126/science.352.6282.138

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When Russia's Mars-96 exploration mission broke apart after launch in November 1996, the loss cast a pall over Russian space science. Now, Russia is hoping to dispel that pall with its biggest slate of lunar and planetary missions since the early 1970s. In January, the Russian government approved a 10-year, $20.5 billion plan crafted by Russia's space agency, RosCosmos, covering everything from contributions to the International Space Station to weather and navigation satellites and human space exploration. About 15% of the spending would go to basic physics in space. But Russia's economic woes are threatening to drag its space science revival back to Earth.